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The Alvarez GenerationThom Gunn, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Peter Porter$
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William Wootten

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381632

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381632.001.0001

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date: 21 October 2017

Against Gentility

Against Gentility

Chapter:
(p.45) Chapter Four Against Gentility
Source:
The Alvarez Generation
Author(s):

William Wootten

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781381632.003.0004

This chapter considers works emerging from the poetic movement which formed part of a much larger picture of progression from small pockets of anti-gentility in British society and culture in the 1950s to the much more pervasive societal shift of the 1960s and 1970s. Gentility was not simply repression by politeness, it was connected to the repressions of the culture at large: the emotional and social repression of ‘libido’ or ‘evil’, ‘two world wars’, ‘concentration camps’, ‘genocide’, ‘the threat of nuclear war’. A poet needs to confront ‘the fears and desires he does not wish to face’ and gentility serves to hide from this.

Keywords:   poets, poetry, poetic movement, anti-gentility, gentility, British society, British culture

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